Monday, July 4, 2011

Written from Images is a writing exercise I have decided to adopt. Writing from an image a story emerges using only the details of the image I write a story explaining what I believe must have happened. It is interesting to see if I get any of the details right with the actual story behind the image.

My Story:
She did not shield herself from the wind though she served as a shield to her two boys, staring at the pile of rubble where her home once stood. Worry shown in her eyes though the lines on her forehead were evidence of many worries that existed in the past. Her clothes already mangled and worn, dirt clung to the necks of her boys and to the material that clothed a baby which she held close to her chest. Resolution seemed distant, it had already been a challenge to keep hunger at bay, but now the little shack that had barely stood no longer remained. She was tired and defeated and though her heart filled with emotion she couldn’t even muster the strength to be angry at God. Hadn’t her family endured enough, with the recent departure of her husband and three mouths left to feed, hadn’t her family endured enough? She had left her parents nearly six years ago, no more talents in her repertoire than washing dishes and ironing clothes. She was swept off her feet and carried away, dreams of a loving marriage and a happy home more than she had ever experienced in her childhood. Her knight and shining armor had passed away last winter and it was all she could do to keep food on the table. Obtaining a job wasn’t likely with three little ones at home with no one to look after them and now she didn’t even have a home. Without an abundance of options all she could do is stare, stare into the rubble praying an answer would emerge. As if frozen in time she and her children did not move, they did not speak and as the sun passed over them they remained a victim of circumstance and hope was far away.

The Real Story:
As era-defining photographs go, “Migrant Mother” pretty much takes the cake. For many, Florence Owens Thompson is the face of the Great Depression, thanks to legendary shutterbug Dorothea Lange. Lange captured the image while visiting a dusty California pea-pickers’ camp in February 1936, and in doing so, captured the resilience of a proud nation facing desperate times.
Unbelievably, Thompson’s story is as compelling as her portrait. Just 32 years old when Lange approached her (“as if drawn by a magnet,” Lange said). Thompson was a mother of seven who’d lost her husband to tuberculosis. Stranded at a migratory labor farm in Nipomo, Calif. her family sustained themselves on birds killed by her kids and vegetables taken from a nearby field – as meager a living as any earned by the other 2,500 workers there. The photo’s impact was staggering. Reproduced in newspapers everywhere, Thompson’s haunted face triggered an immediate public outcry, quickly prompting politicos from the federal Resettlement Administration to send food and supplies. Sadly, however, Thompson and her family had already moved on, receiving nary a wedge of government cheese for their high-profile misery. In fact, no one knew the identity of the photographed woman until Thompson revealed herself years later in a 1976 newspaper article.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Read Southlake's History in Community Impact Newspaper



Read my latest restaurant profile in Community Impact Newspaper.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's been a while.

Dating. It’s ruthless, it’s a game, and it’s tiring and awakening all at the same time. Some of us date for the fun of it right? Yea right. Dating can be fun at first but it isn’t till you find that person you are twitter pated with that the real fun begins. Sure some of us can claim that we don’t want anything serious but deep down inside aren’t we all looking for someone we can share our lives with? A best friend who loves us unconditionally. I mean someone better than a family member because after all you can’t choose family, one might argue that you don’t choose your twitter pated counterpart but let’s face it from the point you become official (officially titled or not) you’re on a working interview.

It took me nearly 3 years to finally get the job, but he did it. On December 19, 2010 he got down on one knee and put a ring on my finger. This was something we had talked about doing since literally date one. He knew apparently, I have that “I want to be with her for the rest of my life” effect on people. But truthfully on our first date he was already feeling me out to see if I was even datable long term. I must’ve said all the right things, as we tend to do on first dates, and low and behold I am affianced. We have talked about marriage till we are blue in face. I have sat there in tears thinking it was never going to happen. Virtually planned my wedding online a million times online, discussed my faux plans with my best friends and then finally calmed the hell down. Gaining a promotion of sorts at work took my attention away from concentrating on when he was going to finally pop the question. I knew his finances weren’t where he wanted them to be and being the rich boy with a poor man’s salary I thought the day was far from near.

So here I sit with a date written in pencil for our tentative upcoming nuptials and I can’t seem to get into it. My mother is way more involved than I thought she would be. Friends send me links and messages about various creative ideas they have in regards to the big day. I have been overwhelmed and bombarded with all the opinions of those close to me and those whose opinions I really don’t give a crapola about. Don’t get me wrong. I care. Don’t put me in some cardboard box of a building and adorn it with some crepe paper and call it a day. No if we are going to do this we are going to do it right. But if it’s all the same to you the JP and a cruise in the Bahamas suits me just fine. I am the only girl however and am loved by a great deal of people who would destroy me if I didn’t have a wedding. So I await the moments to hit me. You know the “aha” moment if you will. I keep thinking I will walk into my venue and it will envelope me, this feeling of “this is it.” Or step into a dress and atop the pedestal at the bridal boutique, look in the mirror and feel “this is the one.” It hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps that has something to do with my lack of excitement.

My parents are taking to this well enough. Past Dad’s drunken handlings of the proposal and my mother hugging me and calling me her baby girl more than usual they seem to be handling it fabulously. Mom has however said on two occasions, “This is her show.” God help us all, I am not getting in her way. I have faith though. In my parents. They have let me want for nothing. I was supposed to drive a brand new red firebird when I turned 16; I ended up with my Dad’s hand me down Chevy Silverado. I didn’t have the elaborate quinceanera my Dad would’ve liked me to have, instead I had a sweet sixteen party that involved all my closest friends and Medieval Times. We didn’t get my dress for Prom at the high fashion section of the mall, nope we found it at some specialty dress shop in Oak Cliff. So it wasn’t top of the line, society recognized, but I never knew any better and I never felt any less. I know the same will apply to my wedding.

In the end of it all the details don’t matter. I will take a way 3 hours worth of memories, if I remember hehe. And some pictures, I care most about the pictures. But what surpasses it all isn’t the wedding but the marriage and not just the act of becoming one but becoming one with the one. So details be damned I got what I wanted and he sits playing Madden on his Play Station as I write, we’re pretty blessed and I need to remember that amidst all the chaos that is sure to ensue.